The Journal Register (Medina, NY)


August 31, 2011

VALLEY: Don't take offense to this


I was making a delivery last week in my Napa pick-up truck when I noticed another truck several car lengths ahead of me. At first, I thought that it, too, was a work truck, because I could see a large sign across the tailgate.

When I got close enough, I could see that it read: “If you’re offended by this flag then call 1-800-LEAVE-THE-COUNTRY.” I was wondering what flag the message was referring to, but after getting even closer, I could see in the corner of this huge sign was a little American flag. I came to realize that it wasn’t a work truck but a personal vehicle.

My take was that because of this sign’s particularly loud declaration and barely visible flag, it smelled less of national spirit than that of someone with a chip on his or her shoulder. Maybe I’m totally wrong — I’ve been accused of that before because … well, ahh ... I’m married.

But let’s get this straight: I’m the proud son of a WWII veteran and I know and appreciate those whose shoulders I stand upon to reach the liberties to which I enjoy. I love our country. Period!

I’m not offended by the flag, but, quite frankly, I was offended by this bumper-sticker’s wordage. That’s probably because I’m also offended by insecure people who use flag-waving as an excuse to stand on a pulpit and look for cheap applause. I’m offended by those who use bully-tactics to insinuate that everything in our nation is just so hunky-dory that if you’ve got an impulse to speak out about anything, you might as well pack your bags and leave the country.

I’m offended by those who equate registering a complaint as contrary to being patriotic.

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